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Riverkeeper News...

Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper: A Closer Look
DEP Plans to Cut 70 Trees to Restore Whipporwhil Creek
Environmentalists Triumph in Albany
RvK Urges Army Corps to Halt Dumping at Houghtaling Island
Delaware Aqueduct Update: NYC DEP Follows RvK Recommendation
RvK Comments on Ossining Sewage Treatment
RvK Submits Comments for Kent Manor Wetlands Permit


 

Four Fun Ways to Support Riverkeeper this Earth Day

Kiehls logoRiverkeeper invites you to unveil the Limited Edition collection of Kiehl's Superbly Restorative Body Lotion. All proceeds will support Waterkeeper Alliance.
Earthday, April 22nd - 8PM
RSVP -
kmassey@kiehls-usa.com

 

Ralph Lauren logo

 


Ralph Lauren celebrates National Volunteer Week: You Save 15%, from now until April 25th. Shop now!

Tony BennettJoin Riverkeeper at our annual Fishermen’s Ball on Wednesday, Aprill 22 at Chelsea Pier 60. Tony Bennett is our featured guest. We will honor environmental advocates who have given generously to improve the earth’s health, including NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, “green” architect William McDonough, Majora Carter, and Pete Seeger. We will also pay special tribute to George Hornig and Howard Rubin
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Riverkeeper membershipIf Riverkeeper is to succeed, we must raise every dollar our programs need. Help us to continue protecting America's river and the communities that surround it.
Become a member today!


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Sea Tow will donate $25 to Riverkeeper when you sign up for a Sea Tow membership.

Sea Tow


Calendar  

- Wednesday, 4/22
The Fishermen's Ball

- Thursday, 4/30
Do You Want to Drink Hudson River Water?
Public Water Forum Meeting

- Thursday, 4/30
Water Under Attack: Does Natural Gas Drilling Threaten NYC Drinking Water?
A panel discussion and film preview

- Saturday, 5/9
Earth Celebrations: Hudson River Pageant


View our calendar

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Next Week Is Volunteer Week!
Riverkeeper would like to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and dedication.


Charity Navigator

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Riverkeeper at the Supreme CourtEntergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper: A Closer Look

On April 1, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Water Act provision governing cooling water intake structures does not forbid cost-benefit analysis when determining “best technology available” for power plants. The Court also ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may decide to not engage in such analysis. That’s good news for Riverkeeper, who is now looking to the Obama administration and EPA to revise the rule it wrote in February 2004 and to write new regulations favoring the preservation of fish and other aquatic life. Given the environment-friendly stance of the President and EPA director Lisa Jackson, who joined us in an earlier lawsuit before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, it seems unlikely that EPA would create a rule using strict cost-benefit analysis. Any new regulations it writes will be subject to a public comment period, which could take up to two years. We’ll be watching closely for those new rules, which should be coming within the next two months. Meanwhile, we remain buoyed by our wins from the Second Circuit suit, which the High Court left untouched.

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whipporwhil creekDEP Plans to Cut 70 Trees to Restore Whipporwhil Creek

Riverkeeper is currently working with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to address concerns about proposed stream bank restoration projects in the Kensico Reservoir basin.  Although the projects are designed to comply with water quality regulations and reduce turbidity in the Kensico, local residents have expressed concerns about the size and number of trees that will be cleared in order to implement the proposed projects.  In April, Riverkeeper visited the sites with DEP officials.  We will continue to investigate and monitor the situation in an effort to protect the NYC drinking water supply without sacrificing surrounding forestland.

Read article in Journal News

Photo above: Riverkeeper Scientist Bill Wegner inspects stream sight with DEP staff.

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bottles_istock_210_jpgEnvironmentalists Triumph in Albany

The newly-expanded Bigger Better Bottle Bill gives New York consumers a powerful incentive for not tossing empty water bottles into the trash and for drinking tap water, which is among the purest and most delicious in the world.  Starting June 1, all water bottles sold in the state will be redeemable for a deposit. Plus, beverage companies must now return to the state’s general fund 80 percent of unclaimed bottle and can deposits, raising approximately $115 million next year. This is an economic and environmental win, since more than 3.2 billion water bottles are sold in New York State each year, and since water bottles are among the most common items clogging landfills. There’s more good news on the environmental front, thanks to the diligence of Hudson Valley lawmakers, who backed the recently passed state budget, which allocates $222 million to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).  In addition to funding the EPF, the budget does not allow the sweeping of $45 million into the state’s general fund and guarantees support for critical programs that protect open space, farmland and clean water, combat invasive species, enhance local waterfronts, create municipal parks, and support local recycling and solid waste programs.

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Houghtaling IslandRiverkeeper Urges Army Corps to Halt Dumping at Houghtaling Island

On April 9, Riverkeeper filed comments opposing a dredging project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which would place approximately 150,000 cubic yards of highly toxic soil on Houghtaling Island in New Baltimore.

New York has identified Houghtaling Island, one of the largest undisturbed parcels of land in the Hudson River estuary, as a critical habitat. Nevertheless, the Army Corps has used it for decades as a dump for dredged soil containing varying levels of PCBs, heavy metals, and other contaminants.
 
We will be submitting additional comments in the next month or so, including a set to the Department of Environmental Conservation, which must certify that the dredging conforms to state water quality requirements. We also plan to submit comments to the Department of State, explaining why we think they should disagree with the Army Corps’ coastal consistency certification.

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aqueductDelaware Aqueduct Update: New York City DEP Follows Riverkeeper Recommendation

We are pleased to report that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has followed one of the eight recommendations Riverkeeper made in Preparing to Repair, Riverkeeper’s March 2009 report on the Delaware Aqueduct leaks.  In late April, NYC DEP made its initial payment of $125,000 to the Town of Wawarsing.  The town will use this money to purchase ultraviolet treatment systems to disinfect well water, sump pumps to remove water from basements, bottled water, and community stormwater improvement projects.  Water from this leak is thought to cause basement flooding in Wawarsing, including flooding residents’ septic fields, resulting in contaminated well water.  In November 2008, DEP agreed to pay the town $250,000 in financial aid, but had not made these funds available. Riverkeeper’s report applied pressure on the city to release these much needed funds.  Read the full report.

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RvK Comments on Ossining Sewage Treatment

On March 27, Riverkeeper submitted comments on the modification of the Ossining sewage treatment plant’s State Pollution Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit. This treatment plant receives landfill leachate from the old Croton Point landfill Superfund site. Up until the mid 1980’s, this landfill took in municipal waste from all of Westchester County and unknown quantities of hazardous, medical, and possibly radioactive waste. Before it was closed, toxic puddles of leachate ran directly into the Hudson, while the surrounding marsh was full of garbage and debris. Westchester County and others struck a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency, which allowed them to pump leachate from the landfill to the Ossining treatment plant.  The modified SPDES permit for the Ossining plant would require sampling for many of the toxic chemicals that are contained in the leachate—but only on a quarterly basis.  Riverkeeper’s comments called for more rigorous testing of the leachate and the discharges flowing from the plant into the Hudson.

Read Comments

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Riverkeeper Submits Comments on Kent Manor Wetlands Permit

On April 14, Riverkeeper submitted comments to the Army Corps of Engineers, urging the Corps to deny a federal permit application to fill wetlands in the proposed Kent Manor development.  The developer plans to fill wetlands on the property and wants to mitigate this impact by constructing wetlands adjacent to roads and other impervious surfaces without suitable buffer zones.  Riverkeeper commented that filling existing wetlands and constructing wetlands near roads, without appropriate buffers, increases the likelihood that pollutants such as phosphorus will discharge into the Croton Falls Reservoir.

Riverkeeper has long challenged this development because of the threats it poses to the phosphorus-impaired Croton Falls Reservoir.  Kent Manor is a proposed 272-unit residential development in Putnam County.  Riverkeeper’s comments are available.

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